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Thursday, February 22, 2024


Addiction in Arvada, Colorado

The U.S. has a prevalent substance abuse problem and drug overdoses have become the principal cause of accidental deaths nationwide in recent years. Numerous contributing factors are the source of this disturbing trend, and while policymakers at state, federal, and local levels take action to attempt to reduce the incidences of new addictions and overdose deaths, education and awareness are crucial for prevention.

Each community in the U.S. struggles with drug abuse and addiction. In fact, the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) approximates that the total costs of illegal drug abuse amount to $193 billion yearly, while alcohol accounts for $224 billion in costs.

If you live in Arvada, and have fallen victim to substance abuse don’t hesitate to seek treatment. There are enormous resources in at your disposal.

Colorado has its own share of struggles when it comes to addiction. Deaths related to drug overdoses in this state top the nationwide average and reports reveal that 12 counties in Colorado have the highest overdose death rates nationwide.

Federal data reveals that CO is the only state to report heavy consumption of alcohol, marijuana, opioid painkillers, and cocaine. Arvada-a beautiful community in Denver, CO is one of the many areas in the U.S. that has fallen victim to alcohol and drug addiction.

With a population of 113, 574, crippling addictions to drugs including heroin and meth affect the lives of the residents of Arvada. Nevertheless, the emergence of treatment centers seeks to help the affected individuals along with their families.

Colorado boasts some of the most stunning mountain ranges besides having international recognition for its outdoor activities and wildlife. However, the state needs to address the epidemic of drug and alcohol addiction that continues to destroy the lives of many.

Drug Addiction in Colorado

Drug addiction in the state is frequently fatal. In 2015, 904 citizens died from drug use and 847 persons died due to alcohol use. That year, more individuals in Colorado died from alcohol and drug abuse than by vehicle crashes.

The substance abuse problem in Colorado keeps worsening. From 2002-2014, there was a considerable increase of fatal overdose deaths statewide. An increasing epidemic of opioid addiction is in fact one of the major causes of CO’s drug crisis.

The rate of fatal opioid overdoses statewide-which comprises opioid painkiller and heroin deaths increased threefold from 2000-2015. Research reveals that opioid addiction has increasingly become common in rural areas and urban counties in southeast Colorado.

Until recently, heroin addiction was mostly restricted to the Front Range urban corridor, which comprises Pueblo, Denver, and other urban counties. The state is well-known for consuming and producing common drugs. In fact, CO has a long-established and dominant brewing industry. Furthermore, it was among the first states to legalize the recreational use of marijuana.

Drug Trafficking in CO

Eight interstates cross Colorado: I-15; I-70; I-25; I-80; I-90; I-76; 1-94 & I-84. Therefore, its central location and Denver’s high ethnic population along with its suburbs make the state an ideal distribution center for drugs arriving into the U.S. across the Canadian border. 15 Entry Ports from Canada exist in Montana and Interstates 90 and 15 link the Entry Ports with Salt Lake City and Denver, both of which are main drug distribution points.

Criminal DTOs need transportation facilities, for instance, these interstates along with individuals who are eager to conduct retail activities. The DTOs locate these persons in Colorado’s suburban and urban areas in two ways: they use current street gangs or offer drug samples (frequently methamphetamine) to individuals who then develop an addiction.

To sustain their drug supply, the addicted persons conduct retail sales or carry out other crimes, for instance, property invasions. Some criminal groups even band together for sophisticated criminal activities to buy meth from Mexican drug traffickers.

Drug Addiction in Rural Colorado

Across the U.S., organized crime organizations have shifted from major towns and cities to rural areas. As a result, the law enforcement in CO’s rural areas is experiencing difficulty fighting the influx of illicit drugs into the communities.

Data reveals that cartels have seemingly unrestricted resources compared to the ordinary rural sheriff’s department. Rural counties and small towns have also struggled to offer sufficient health care for citizens suffering from addiction.

Generally, rural areas have a restricted number of conventional healthcare providers. Furthermore, small towns frequently lack detox facilities or support meetings for attaining and sustaining sobriety.

The rural areas in Colorado are facing a crisis that started with opioid prescriptions. Doctors had few resources to assist patients with rehab, leaving them no options but to alleviate discomfort by giving patients prescribed opioids. Once it became obvious to the health industry that they were very addictive, they stopped issuing the painkillers.

Again, with minimal resources to help in the rehabilitation of patients from their long-time addictions to Oxycodone or Percocet, they resorted to heroin. 

Oxycontin Maker assisted by Rudy Giuliani 10 years before current opioid crisis, the recover

Risk Factors for Drug Addiction

People of various backgrounds can develop an addiction and it can be difficult to comprehend why certain individuals are more prone than others are. Irrespective of your moral code or upbringing, numerous factors can increase your risk of developing an addiction to alcohol and other drugs. They include:

  • Genetics

Addiction isn’t about lacking morals or a weak willpower. The chemical reactions that take place in the addict’s brain are rather different from those in somebody who isn’t an addict. This explains why it’s possible for one person to smoke cigarettes every so frequently for pleasure while another requires them daily in order to function.

Heredity is a principal factor for addiction. According to the NIDA, up to half of a person’s likelihood of addiction to alcohol or other drugs is dependent on genetics. Therefore, if you have addicted family members, you have an increased likelihood of experiencing the same.

  • Environment

Environmental factors also increase your likelihood of addiction. For teens and children, the lack of parental involvement could result in experimentation with alcohol and other drugs or greater risk-taking. Young persons who experience neglect or abuse from parents are also likely to use alcohol or drugs to cope.

Peer pressure is another risk factor for drug addiction, particularly among young individuals. The pressure to fit in could develop an environment of experimentation with substances that could lead to addiction.

  • Preferred Drug

While a number of addictions progress gradually over the course of numerous years or months, others move faster. For instance, drugs such as heroin, cocaine, and meth are usually more physically addictive than marijuana or alcohol.

Therefore, if you use heroin or cocaine the withdrawal phase is usually painful and this may drive you to use them more frequently and in greater doses to avoid the withdrawal symptoms. This can accelerate the addiction process and increase your likelihood of serious complications.

Signs of Drug Addiction

  • Loss of control: Drugging or drinking more than you want to, for longer than you intended, or in spite of telling yourself that you won’t do it again.
  • Risk taking: You have a higher likelihood of taking serious risks to acquire your drug of choice.
  • Secrecy: Going out of your way to conceal the amount of alcohol or drugs you’ve consumed; unexplained accidents or injuries.
  • Continued use in spite of negative consequences: You continue drugging and drinking despite the consequences.

The Process of Addiction


The stage involves the use of alcohol or drugs for experimentation. While the stage might seem harmless, even one episode of experimentation could lead to considerable harm to others or self.

Social Use

This involves using drugs in social situations or for social purposes. If such use causes harm, it’s considered abuse. This stage frequently leads to further use.

Problem Use

Examples of risky or problem use of alcohol or drugs include drug abuse and binge drinking.

  • Binge Drinking

This involves heavy alcohol use periodically. This could result in the physical harm of others and self. Binge drinking involves consuming five or more drinks on a similar occasion at least a day in the last thirty days.

  • Substance Abuse

The characteristic trait of substance abuse is the existence of dysfunction associated with the individual’s use of alcohol and other drugs.


With continual use, numerous individuals’ abuse or use of alcohol or other drugs develop into addiction. Addiction is a disease in which mind-altering substances have caused mind, body, and behavior changes. As a result, addicts are incapable of controlling their substance use in spite of the negative outcomes that arise.

Addiction Challenges Facing Colorado

Colorado State has the highest overdose death rate than other states in the U.S. and the number is growing throughout the state, including the rural regions. Actually, a number of counties like Arapahoe have experienced the doubling of overdose deaths within the last 15 years.

Specifically, prescription painkillers like OxyContin or Percocet are major drugs causing the epidemic. While public medical officials are doing their best to enhance the substance abuse epidemic, they’ve been unsuccessful in their endeavors to decrease drug overdoses that result in death.

Consequently, the state has to confront the reality that it’s not equipped to tackle the drug epidemic. Federal data also reveals that the state doesn’t provide sufficient treatment access when it comes to alcoholism. Although death associated with substance abuse is avoidable, about 85% of addicts don’t obtain the care they require in CO, placing a high number of individuals in jeopardy of death because of continually using the substance they are addicted to.

Although Colorado has treatment centers, it doesn’t equate to the number of addicts. Furthermore, there’s minimal tailoring for government-financed treatment. Yet, research indicates that the most effective treatment programs are individual-based.

Alcohol Abuse in Colorado

Between 2009 and 2013, 8.4% of Coloradans aged 12 years or above abused or were dependent on alcohol within the previous year. This number signifies approximately 33, 000 persons per year. During the same period, 7.4% of legally-able-to-drink citizens reported heavy alcohol consumption within the previous year.

This number exceeds the nationwide average of 6.8% and signifies around 268,000 adult residents annually. More than 38% of persons enrolled in a treatment program in CO are there solely because of an alcohol problem and another 40% due to a problem with alcohol and drugs.

Alcohol and Drug Addiction in Arvada

Like numerous areas nationwide, Arvada faces an ongoing drug and alcohol addiction problem. Approximately 15% of all residents have struggled or struggle with chemical dependencies. For most Arvada addicts, alcoholism is the major culprit, accounting for 50% of addictions.

Numerous alcohol users convince themselves that alcohol can’t be detrimental since it’s legal. However, alcohol kills 90,000 people annually. According to the CDC, men who consume over two drinks daily and women who consume more than a drink daily face a heightened likelihood of alcoholism.

Prescription drug use trails slightly behind alcoholism. Prescription drugs kill more individuals through overdoses than other drug groups merged. Yet 70% of high schoolers believe that getting high with these substances is safer.

Prescription drugs can be especially a dangerous and powerful initiation into the world of addiction for teenagers who are short on money and resources. Addiction has the ability to rupture relations, sideline careers, and tear families apart.

Furthermore, addiction effects extend beyond the walls of our homes. It destroys the local economy, leads to community blights, and decreases worker productivity considerably.

Alcoholism in Arvada

Alcoholism is an epidemic in today’s society and the problem affects many in Arvada. Actually, alcohol consumption is an acceptable and common practice in Arvada. Therefore, it’s easy to rationalize drinking habits and be in denial that a problem exists for somebody in Arvada who’s involved in alcoholism or alcohol addiction.

If a person continues drinking in spite of the medical risks involved and the related destruction, it’s time the person sought help. Treatment for alcoholism and alcohol addiction is accessible for persons who recognize they have a problem and are courageous enough to face their alcohol problems.

Marijuana Use in Colorado

According to the NIDA or National Institute on Drug Abuse, marijuana has the highest rate of primary admissions after alcohol in CO. The drug is presently legal for medicinal use in the state and has recently become accessible to recreational users.

Some users mistakenly think that marijuana’s legal status implies that it’s without risk. However, any mind-altering substance could become addictive-between 10% and 15% of marijuana users ultimately become addicts.

Marijuana detox

It isn’t easy to detox from marijuana, so it’s advisable you consult a physician before doing so. Your doctor will evaluate whether you are healthy enough to detox and in some instances, you may obtain prescribed medications to decrease your cravings or alleviate the detox symptoms. In the event that you have underlying health issues, your physician will help you manage these.

Recovery Options for Marijuana Users

  • 12-Step Programs

12-step programs such as Marijuana Anonymous in CO are popular programs that give you the opportunity to share your feelings in a judgment-free space. By doing so, you get the chance to learn from other addicts with similar obstacles.

  • Group and Individual Therapy

Therapy gives you the chance to explore the reasons behind your addiction and discovering drug-free ways of coping. In the event that you have a co-occurring mental disorder, your therapist can help you with symptom management.

If you favor peer support under the guidance of a therapist, you’ll discover group therapy merges several of the benefits of the 12-step program and conventional individual counseling.

Heroin and Opioid Abuse in Colorado

One of the most disturbing facets of prescription opioids is that once an individual develops an addiction, he or she frequently ends up using heroin.

Opioids are highly potent and effective at treating different kinds of pain. However, they have profound body effects and once addiction sets in, the person will frequently resort to unlawful means of acquiring more doses. From 2011-2015, heroin deaths in the state tripled. In 2014, 151 fatalities originating from heroin overdoses took place.

The drug is comparatively inexpensive, so numerous people who begin using prescription opioids may resort to heroin in desperation. A patient might have a genuine medical need for prescribed opioids, for instance, a surgical procedure or serious injury but once he or she runs out of painkillers, heroin can at times be an appealing substitute.

Meth Threat in Colorado

Meth continues to pose a major drug threat in Colorado. The proportion of principal treatment admissions for meth peaked in the second half of 2005 and reduced until 2008. The proportion remained steady from 2008-2012 at 14-16%.

For the most part, meth production has shifted out of the U.S. Initially, the cheap manufacture of the drug took place in home labs. Currently, its primary production takes place in other countries and brought into the country by global criminal groups.

The meth epidemic is the opposite of the opioid epidemic in some ways. Historically, people perceived heroin abuse as an urban problem. The drug was linked to musicians while meth was considered a rural issue.

Now, the abuse of meth has spread to cities such as Boulder and Denver. According to a report, CO ranks eighth nationwide in per-capita meth use, costing the state approximately $1.4 billion annually. A study of the social costs related to meth calculates that meth abuse costs the nation $23.4 billion annually.

Costs include hospitalization and treatment of abusers, social programs caring for their families and children, law enforcement, and the lost productivity caused by meth, which is comparatively cheap, very addictive, at times generating a high for 24 hours.

Meth abuse brings various problems, especially crimes like ID thefts and burglaries. In CO, meth users cause approximately 2/3 of all ID thefts. The state has a disproportionate number of methamphetamine abusers mainly because of its proximity to the supply routes coming from Mexico.

Another contributing factor to the high methamphetamine use is that CO has a young and transient population, including oil-field workers.

Drug Rehabilitation Programs in Arvada

The types of programs Arvada offer include:

  • Residential Programs

In a residential program, you’re a guest or inpatient on a voluntary basis at the facility. Therefore, you’ll work on your recovery at the treatment center, which will provide accommodation.  This option is ideal if you wish to get away from your daily life and immerse yourself in the healing process. Having the seclusion and serenity to work on your problems away from typical stresses could make a huge difference in how you respond to your treatment plans.

  • Partial Hospitalization

This is a hybrid of outpatient and inpatient treatment plans. With this program, you spend most of your day at the facility in a structured program of therapy and activities. You can eat and use the facility’s amenities and once your day’s schedule is over, you can return home. This program helps those on a budget and those who dislike the idea of sleeping away from their homes.

  • Outpatient Program

If you decide to enroll in this program, you’ll check in weekly or daily with the treatment facility. You will have a program of mandatory tests, checkups, therapy, and classes. The time requirements in this plan are less strict compared to those in the residential or partial hospitalization programs. This implies that you’ll be able to continue with school and work while recovering.

Drug Rehabilitation Treatment Process

What to Expect Going into Rehab

  • Assessment

An assessment helps determine the suitable level of care and treatment a patient requires.

  • Pre-intake

This phase gives you information regarding the treatment facility and the services it offers. This way, you’ll know whether it suits you and vice versa.

  • Intake

You’ll provide your medical and drug/alcohol history at this stage. You’ll also undergo a screening test and a physical to establish your overall health.

  • Detox

Detox helps the patient begin the withdrawal process before rehabilitative care. The physician may administer medications to help with this process.

  • Inpatient

This option allows you to reside at the treatment facility for the treatment duration.

  • Outpatient

This option allows you to reside at home outside the treatment hours, enabling you to fulfill other responsibilities.

  • Aftercare

This phase occurs after completing a treatment program. The plan helps you adjust to the real world and maintain sobriety.

  • Sober living

These homes allow recovering addicts to feel safe and secure in an alcohol and drug-free environment while obtaining support from staff and fellow residents.